Some car owners get worried about how trading in a car with engine problems is going to affect the value with the trade, or if they can trade one of all. To start with, there's nothing you need to worry about. This is a very normal procedure and plenty of other drivers in the past have done it. After all, if your car were still in perfect working condition there's a good chance you wouldn't want to trade it in and get a new one anyway, right? What you do need to be aware of is that trading in a car with engine problems means you're going to have to be realistic about the value of your trade. Depending on how bad those engine problems are, it could seriously reduce the value of your car.
What is My Car Worth?
The first thing most car owners want to establish when they're looking to trade in their car is just what their car is worth. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account before you can come up with a ballpark figure here. The age of the car is typically the biggest factor in determining value, along with the make and model of the vehicle. And of course, condition is very important. If you have a barely driven 1990 Chevy Corvette that's in pristine condition, it's probably going to be worth more than a 2015 Chevy Corvette that got rear-ended by a garbage truck.
The Best Way to Determine the Value of Your Car
Figuring out what a car is worth is impossible without getting some help. You know what you paid for your car but understanding depreciation and the market is something that you need outside assistance to wrap your head around. That's where both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds come into place. Both of these companies can offer you estimated value for just about any car that's ever been manufactured.
If you head to the Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds website, they will both allow you to input the make, model, and year of your vehicle as well as trim options to help you get a pretty good estimate of the value of your vehicle. This data is aggregated from numerous dealers and private sales around the country so you can figure out the average value of your vehicle regardless of the condition. Best of all, you can get this kind of diverse information from both companies:
- The value of your car in excellent condition
- The value of your car in very good condition
- The value of your car in average condition
- The value of your car in poor condition
- The value of your car as a trade in
- The value of your car as a private sale
- The value of your car as a dealership sale
All of the numbers that you get from Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are estimates. But they are also industry trusted and many people will turn to these when they're looking to come up with a dollar value for your vehicle when you're trying to sell it or trade it in.
Should I Repair My Car Before Trading It In?
Since we can't know the make, model, year of your car or the condition that it's in we can use an example to give you an idea of what to expect here. The Toyota Camry was the best-selling model of car in America for over 16 years straight. Let's pick the 2010 Toyota Camry as an example. Toyota Camry from 2010 with no options in average condition has a trade-in value of $3,402 according to edmunds.com. If you need to replace the engine you can buy a new one from AutoZone for between $2,800 and $5,000. Even something like a cylinder head replacement it's going to cost you probably between $3,200 and $3,700. So depending on the nature of the engine repairs, they may actually be more expensive than the value of the entire car.
As you can see, if you pay to repair your car before you trade it in you could end up losing a considerable amount of money on the deal. If you have a high end, rare or desirable car then it might be worth it to repair some problems before you try to sell it. But for the average car, the time and money involved in doing major repairs is simply not worth it if you're just going to trade it in anyway.
Where Can I Trade in a Car with Engine Problems?
The deck is stacked against you when you want to sell a car that has problems. That's no surprise. The average buyer for a private sale is going to want a car that they can drive away, no problems and no repairs needed. So if you know ahead of time that your engine has problems, and either the vehicle doesn't drive at all or it has some serious problems, you need to adjust your approach.
- Craigslist. Of course, you can still try to do a private sale on Craigslist even if your car has engine problems. In fact, many of the buyers that you're going to find on Craigslist aren't just people looking to buy a new car but actual dealers. Since Craigslist is such a great place to find cars, many dealers and resellers will routinely go through the site looking for cars that they can buy at a good deal. Their game plan is to buy low and do necessary repairs before turning it over for profit. So, they're going to want to get you down to the absolute lowest amount that you're willing to accept. And if your engine has problems, they are definitely going to use that against you to try to get you down as far as possible.
- Dealerships. This is probably the first thing you think of when you're interested in trading in your car. After all, trade in means you're giving your old car and getting a new car in return and who else is going to do that but a dealer? It's true that a dealer can take a car off your hands even if it does have engine problems.
Just like those dealers on Craigslist, they're going to be most concerned with their own bottom line. They're going to do whatever they can to sell you the most expensive car you're willing to buy while offering you the least amount they can on trade-in. That doesn't mean they're being dishonest with you in any way, and many dealers are absolutely above board when it comes to doing business, but this is still business. They wouldn't be in business if they were giving away highly valuable cars for very little money and paying a lot of money for cars with bad engines, right?
You may be wondering what exactly a dealership does with your car when the engine is bad. There are actually a few things the dealership is likely to do with a car that is in need of repairs.
- Auction the car. All around the country there are auto auctions that happen everyday. Many of these take place in rural areas and in small towns. Dealerships often send damaged cars that they take on trade into these auctions to try to turn them over quickly and get some cash.
- Repair the car. If your car is worth repairing, the dealership will try to resell it. It has to be otherwise in very good condition and be the kind of car that's going to have decent resale value to make it worth their time and effort.
- Wholesale the car. This usually happens if you take in your Toyota Camry to a Ford dealership or your Chevy Silverado to a Hyundai dealer. If it's not that dealer’s own brand, they will wholesale it to a different dealer that specializes in that particular make and model.
- Scrapyards. If you feel like your car is a lost cause and that a dealer is just going to junk it anyway, you may want to cut out the middleman and go straight to a scrap yard. There's a possibility that even if the engine is no good, things like the transmission, the air conditioner and so on can be salvaged and be worth some money as parts. This is definitely a possibility and, even if your car is a complete lost cause, it has scrap metal value. However, a scrap yard is going to also be looking to protect its bottom line. They will absolutely be interested in buying your junk car as salvage, but they're going to try to give you the least amount of money as possible.
Your Best Bet for Selling a Car with Engine Problems
However you want to go about selling your car with engine problems, you need to know that Cash Cars Buyer is the best option out there for getting a fair offer and cash in hand for your car. We can come to you and tow your car away free of charge, something that a scrapyard won't do. You don't need to worry about getting around other people during covid-19. And there's no wait time for payment to process because we will pay you cash when we come to get your car. We pride ourselves on offering a fair amount for your vehicle based on its condition. So, whether your car is running like a dream or if the engine is completely destroyed, we're going to be honest and upfront about what it's worth and what we could offer you.